1) A prediction: as the 2018 elections approach, we will see more and more mainstream news stories seeking to present the "other side" of U.S. evangelicalism. The wave is already cresting, and will only get larger.
2) Expect more stories about "good" evangelicals who beat guns into plowshares or help migrant workers. Expect to hear more about how "both sides" have points and there are "good people" on both sides — and how we need "balance" in covering evangelicals.
3) This, of course, how the media operate: they quite literally "mediate" — trying to convince us that there's some median path between one side or another. (Abolitionists were grand, but slavery, after all, had some things going for it.)
4) Why now? Why are the media starting this wave of "the other side," the "good evangelicals," right now? It's because of the coming elections.
5) The powerful economic interest groups who do not want progressive candidates elected have a very useful tool in their hands, with the right-wing religiosity of many American voters. They actively need people continuing to vote "right" for religious reasons.
6) These are folks who (see: Donald J. Trump) have no vested interest in religion themselves. What they do have a vested interest in is political leaders who will give them tax cuts and the legal right to treat employees like things.
7) They cannot accomplish these goals without a strong, determined cadre of voters who elect leaders like that while pointing to right-wing religion as their reason for doing so.
8) The media are beholden to the economic interest groups that need and want right-wing political control of our society, bolstered up by right-wing religionists. They have always done their bit to promote a both-sides-have-points analysis of right-wing religion.
9) The media, economic elites, the party they have anointed as God's party are running scared now because #Exvangelical and #EmptythePews have made real inroads, and have begun to seize the mainstream narrative about evangelical issues.
10) The work that @C_Stroop & many other valuable advocates have been doing to shift the mainstream narrative about evangelicals is paying off with articles in mainstream publications — & also frightening those who have a vested interest in keeping this discussion "balanced."
11) #MeToo and #ChurchToo also have them running scared, because of the potential of these discussions to shift the mainstream narrative about evangelicals — and open much-needed critical assessment of evangelicalism that finally DOES offer real balance to the discussion.
12) The Irish abortion referendum: more reason for these folks to run scared. They have everything invested in a narrative that pretends people in Europe and North America are moving in a "pro-life" direction and turning against laws allowing legal abortion.
13) In conclusion: watch for the wave that has begun to crest now, in which evangelicals are being rehabilitated by the media (after white evangelicals have unmasked themselves during the Trump era) to come crashing in as the 2018 elections approach.
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